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  1. #1
    flyguy26's Avatar
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    Default brick between pier & girder?

    Can anyone tell me if it acceptable for the builder to have used a single brick and a steel plate to support the weight of a wooden girder (3 2x12's) atop a pier?

    See photo: http://www.vawaterfront.info/Public/brick.jpg

    It looks to me like they ran out of the steel plates they used on the other piers!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    What, they couldn't find offcuts, plywood scraps and shingles?

    That brick is plenty strong enough and the steel plates spread the weight. They should be lined up better, but that's about all. JMO.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    That brick is plenty strong enough and the steel plates spread the weight.
    I don't know about that. Depending on the brick the compressive strength can be as high as or higher than concrete or as low as a fraction of concrete. The load being applied to the brick divided by the bearing area should not exceed the brick's compressive strength.

    That is if the brick and the steel plate`have perfect bearing (so the loads imparted on the brick are purely compressive). If the bearing is not perfect bending stesses will develop in the brick. And bending stresses cause both compressive and tensile stresses. The compressive strength of concrete and masonry is typically 10 times the tensile strength; said another way, concrete and masonry are great in compression but poor under tension or bending (which is why reinforcing is needed for concrete and masonry subjected to bending forces).

    I notice the brick has cracked. This tells me either the compressive load exceeded the brick's capacity or the bearing was not perfect which placed the brick under bending causing it to crack. The brick has failed and obviously cannot support the existing loads.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
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  4. #4
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    It looks OK to me.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Since we have a fair amount of houses with brick foundation walls, and brick piers, I would have no problem with this installation.


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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    most building codes require some kind of permanent tie between the pier and girder system for seismic considerations. i agree with bruce' synopsis and would fail this install for several reasons.


  7. #7
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    most building codes require some kind of permanent tie between the pier and girder system for seismic considerations. i agree with bruce' synopsis and would fail this install for several reasons.
    BS: Ther is seismic activity in Virginia?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    BS: Ther is seismic activity in Virginia?
    ad,
    i don't know about seimic but wind and lateral cannot be met with the install as shown. i don't know what the irc says but ibc says
    'column and post end connections shall be fastened to resist lateral and net induced uplift forces" 2304.9.7.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    ad,
    i don't know about seimic but wind and lateral cannot be met with the install as shown. i don't know what the irc says but ibc says
    'column and post end connections shall be fastened to resist lateral and net induced uplift forces" 2304.9.7.
    BS: I think the 2304.9.7 citation applies only to post and beam/girder construction. 2308.7 applies:

    "Where a girder is spliced over a support, an adequate tie shall be provided."

    But, that is IBC. I am not aware of a correponding citation in the IRC. If I am wrong, know that I will soon be corrected . . .



  10. #10

    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    But, that is IBC. I am not aware of a correponding citation in the IRC. If I am wrong, know that I will soon be corrected . . .
    In Oregon, the only requirement is to tie the post to the beam. The bottom end is on it's own.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    BS: I think the 2304.9.7 citation applies only to post and beam/girder construction. 2308.7 applies:

    "Where a girder is spliced over a support, an adequate tie shall be provided."

    But, that is IBC. I am not aware of a correponding citation in the IRC. If I am wrong, know that I will soon be corrected . . .
    ad,
    i look at the brick, metal pieces as posts! consider your self corrected
    BS


  12. #12
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    ad,
    i look at the brick, metal pieces as posts! consider your self corrected
    BS
    BS: Not so fast.

    2304.9.7 Framing requirements. Wood columns and posts shall be framed to provide full end bearing. Alternatively, column-and-post end connections shall be de signed to resist the full compressive loads, neglecting end-bearing capacity. Column-and-post end connections shall be fastened to resist lateral and net induced up lift forces.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    I think maybe we need the definition of 1. Post, 2. Beam, and 3. Pier?
    While BS may consider a pier a post, I'm not sure many others do.


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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I think maybe we need the definition of 1. Post, 2. Beam, and 3. Pier?
    While BS may consider a pier a post, I'm not sure many others do.
    JACK,
    keep it simple here!1. post, that brick and assortment of metal 2,beam the laminated boards on top of the post 3.pier. that chunk of cementious mass that the post is on.
    ad,
    your correct site of 2304.9.7 says" column and post end connections...." there are no end connections in the picture! sheesh!


  15. #15
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Sorry Brian I have to disagree. A pier is NOT a post.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Sorry Brian I have to disagree. A pier is NOT a post.
    jack,
    where exactly did i say it was?


  17. #17
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Brian,
    I may have misunderstood your post, sorry.
    Here is what I thought you said: That there needs to be some kind of permanent tie between the pier and girder system for seismic considerations.

    The I think you went on to say that you look at the brick, metal pieces as posts.

    What I'm saying is, the point of discussion in the photo in this thread is a pier, and NOT a post.

    Again, if I misunderstood you, I apologize.
    JF


  18. #18
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    JACK,
    keep it simple here!1. post, that brick and assortment of metal 2,beam the laminated boards on top of the post 3.pier. that chunk of cementious mass that the post is on.
    ad,
    your correct site of 2304.9.7 says" column and post end connections...." there are no end connections in the picture! sheesh!
    hmm interesting thanks for the information buddy


  19. #19
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    The code states it should bear on wood or metal and not veneering brick, you could cement in concrete brick or 4" solid concrete capping block. Hopefully that pier was filled solid (only tapping with a hammer could ring that tune) When you come across solid brick in foundations, its treated like a rubble stone wall, has to have a minimum thickness, 2 or more structural brick wide. That pier looks like the mason allowed for wooden plates to be anchored down by the distance between the pier and the bottom of the girder...which would of then only needed a metal shim and/or wooden, which should be quarter sawn wooden shims and not half sawn profiled. By the photo, thats a veneering brick designed to with stand its own weight...Sorry, I would of called it here

    Joseph Ehrhardt
    Building Forensic Specialist LLC

  20. #20
    Ralph Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Wow, you guys really straighten each other out!


  21. #21
    Robert Pike's Avatar
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    Common sense - pretty sloppy job. I'd call it!


  22. #22
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    There's no law against ugly. There's no excess wood shimming. No potential for compression. No laws regarding pier/frame bonding. No issue. Don't make up stuff just to exercise your writing arm.
    JLMathis


  23. #23
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    I believe that Bruce has the correct answer.
    It's my understanding that bricks are not to be used for that application for reasons that he correctly stated. Further, bricks are not to be used to support water heaters or boilers.

    For that application, solid cmu and metal shims would be preferred.

    Now ... if I can only find that in writing somewhere, I'll post it.

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

  24. #24
    Russel Ray's Avatar
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    I always call out non-standard construction practices, and I would definitely call that non-standard. The design/load specifications would be extremely difficult to calculate, but if they can be, I'll let the structural engineer do them.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    And exactly how did you determine that to be "non-standard"? What was the standard you used and how do you document that? I'm pretty damn sure a structural engineer would laugh at you if you called it out and a seller might do more than that just because you didn't know what you were looking at and decided to make an expensive deal out of it.
    JLMathis


  26. #26
    Russel Ray's Avatar
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    Default Re: brick between pier & girder?

    I have tons of engineering and structural books, but in none of them do I find how to do engineering calculations for two metal plates on top of a brick on top of a post.

    I've called out many similar non-standard things in my decade of home inspecting, and only two things have happened:

    1 - nothing
    2 - the foundation professionals and engineers who came in after me provided recommendations for standard fixes.

    I can live with either of those.


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